Katie K Active Trunk Show at Bldg. 7 Yoga 12/16 from 4:30-7:30pm

kka trunk show bldg 7 yoga

Join Katie of Katie K Active at Bldg. 7 Yoga! Browse our inclusive active wear collection sizes Small to 3X. Sip some wine and have a snack break with us! Special discount for attendees! Bldg. 7 Yoga is located at 220 N Park Rd, Bldg 7, Reading, Pennsylvania 19610. See you there!

Educate Yourself! Tips for a Healthier You!

BY KATIE KOZLOFF-BANKS

Health-and-Fitness-Blog-Educate

There’s so much access to everything nowadays. Between what you can find on the internet and what you see on social media, it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s not. This is especially true when it comes to the health and fitness industry.  Here are my tips to educating yourself while you navigate your fitness journey:

  1. There is no magic pill, really! There are so many products claiming they can give you a quick fix with little to no work. This is not true! While these pills make lots of fantastic claims, they are really just a waste of your money. I have actually seen before and after pictures stolen and used in advertisements from a few fitness professionals that I follow.
  2. You can spend a lot of time and money searching for the right supplements. These are to assist you with your health and fitness program, not be the quick fix. But you really need to do your research and learn about the different products. Take the time to learn about what you are taking, what is in the products, think about your reasons and your goals for taking them.
  3. Do not be fooled by before and after pictures! Recently, a few bloggers showed how just changing the angle of your body, the size of your clothes and how close you are to your camera can really effect the way you look in your pictures. So although those before and after pictures are always so enticing, remember how they can be easily manipulated. People who are proud of their transformations are excited to show the true before and afters, companies trying to get you to buy their products may use manipulations to get you to purchase.
  4. Be careful who you listen to for information. You can find many people giving out all sorts of health and fitness related advice on social media. It’s great to have access to info, but unless they are certified in their category, remember that they are not an expert. Yes of course there are experts who give bad advice, but there are also tons of people acting as experts who’ve never been trained in that area. I think it’s great that so many people share their health and fitness journeys, but remember, they are sharing their experience and advice based on that, not from being officially trained in that area.
  5. Be wary of fad diets. It seems there’s always some new, hot way to eat. I do feel each fad starts from some truth, but it gets blown up and promoted as an absolute. Try to educate yourself about nutrition and learn what works for you.

Think of all the money and time you could spend trying to get a quick fix. If you just put in the work and educated yourself, you’d be able to learn and make that change. Take the time to learn for yourself or find people you respect and trust.

Fitness Fun in the Sun

BY KATIE KOZLOFF-BANKS

Summer time is here! Life can get hectic over the summer. Routines change, kids are out of school, you have endless plans since the weather is nice and you want to be outside with family and friends. You think you have all this free time and before you know it, it’s September. Here are some tips for sticking to your fitness goals and getting friends and family to join in.

  1. Workout in the AM. This is important for a few reasons. First of all, summer is hot. Getting your workout done early allows you to avoid the hottest part of the day. Also, as the day goes on, there are always things that come up and it’s easy to push that workout to tomorrow. Maybe your co-workers want to enjoy the nice weather and hit a happy hour at an outside bar, or your kids want to stay at the pool all afternoon. Getting your workout finished early on in the day gives you energy and saves you from that “missing a workout” guilt.
  2. A Quick Mix. Quick workouts can pack a great punch! Get a group of friends together and do a playground or even back yard workout. Get your family excited and involved by creating an obstacle course. Have different exercises at each station and run through the course 2 or 3 times. All you need is 20-30 minutes to get an efficient and effective workout. Add a sprinkler for some extra summer fun!
  3. Get in the Water. There are many fun ways to enjoy the water and be active. I got to try stand up paddle boarding a few weeks ago in California and loved it! It’s a great activity to do with friends or family. Work your arms, core and legs while you enjoy being outside and on the water. If you have a pool, get a game of pool volley ball or basketball going.
  4. Don’t Act your Age. We love playing SPUD with my nieces and nephews. It is always so much fun! Want a game to play with an older crowd? Try whiffle ball or kick ball. Running the bases and competing against each other is sure to bring some fun and laughs. Throw in 5/10 reps of an exercise at each base and it’s a great workout and game for any age! It always tasks us a few minutes to get up and motivated to play, but once we do, it’s a blast!

As with any time of year, you need to make sure you make your fitness goals a priority. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make things fun or include your friends and family. Just be a little creative and you can enjoy the summer while staying active!


Katie Kozloff-Banks, Wyomissing, is the owner of Katie K Active. 

This article appears in the July 2015 issue of Berks County Living. Did you like what you read here? Subscribe to Berks County Living »

Z. Bella Boutique Katie K Active Trunk Show

z bella trunk show Katie K Active

Join us for an exclusive trunk show. Katie K Activewear will be available at z.bella boutique for 3 days only! July 10-12th!

Z.Bella Boutique 1903 Cayuga Street, Suite 101, Middleton, Wisconsin 53562

Z. Bella Tank Capri and Skirt Katie K Active

We are excited to share a brand with you designed with the belief that all women should have the opportunity to look good and feel good about themselves no matter what the activity in which they were participating.

Katie K Active offers tops, bottoms and everything in between ideal for your active lifestyle in sizes Small to 3X!

z. Bella Scarves Katie K Active

**BONUS**
Test out your new Katie K Activewear during a FREE Yoga Class led by Valerie Hesslink Yoga of Pulse Kettlebells and Yoga on Sunday at 11:00 AM at the boutique!

Please bring a Yoga Mat

R.S.V.P. on the Z Bella Facebook Event Page

How Men & Women Exercise Differently

How Men & Women Exercise Differently

BY KATIE KOZLOFF-BANKS

Men and women are different in many ways. But do we also have an opposed approach to working out? Although I can find many exceptions, I find the following generalities to be pretty true. Men and women seem to approach fitness and their healthy lifestyle in different ways:

  • The Why: I think both sexes are interested in the physical benefits of working out. But it does seem that men are far more interested in building muscle and strength. Where a woman may start out on a new healthy routine in order to look better in front of the mirror or fit into her clothes, but ends up enjoying seeing her strength and abilities increase.

  • The Ask: Women are more likely to seek advice and are more likely to hire a trainer. They tend to be easily coachable and are willing to listen to the advice of these experts. Men seem to naturally feel more comfortable in a gym or workout scenario. They may occasionally seek advice, but are less coachable.The

  • What: It seems any gym class is made up of nearly 100 percent women. Women enjoy the social aspect an exercise class provides. While you occasionally find men in a class, they seem to be more interested in getting a workout done outside of the studio. I think the exception to this is spin and crossfit. For gyms like crossfit, I think it is fun for both sexes because of the camaraderie of a group that helps support and push you.

  • How Much: Men seem to get in longer workouts and spend more time at the gym. But that doesn’t mean they are any more intense or effective. Women feel more pressed for time, but they find ways to make working out a priority.

  • Variety: Men tend to stick to a few standard routines: running, weight lifting and crossfit-type classes. Women are usually more open to trying new classes or workouts. It seems women want a variety of ways to exercise, where men are happy with their routines.

Overall, we can both learn from the opposite sex. Often, men tend to push themselves harder and will grab that heavier weight or see if they can do one more rep. Although I know plenty of competitive women, I can see this being pretty true as a general statement. Men can teach women to push themselves and work harder than the think they can. On the other hand, women seem to really enjoy fitness and make it a social experience. Women seem to be more willing to diversify their workout and their routine, such as by taking a weekly spin class, yoga class, boot camp and TRX. Therefore, women teach men working out can be fun and to expand their exercise horizons.

This article appears in the June 2015 issue of Berks County Living

Healthy Family Time

We all learn through example. Being active and healthy is a life-long habit. Participating in healthy activities as a family will teach youth that being healthy and active can be fun and enjoyable. Whether you are just getting your family to start being active or it’s a regular part of your routine, here are some tips for creating healthy habits:

  1. Get walking. Walking or hiking are great ways to spend time together as a family. A few minutes in and you are talking to each other and are free from technology. I love taking walks with my husband through Wyomissing Meadows. We end up talking about everything and anything. And between the fresh air and the discussion, we always come to a new outlook. We use it as a time to connect and go over whatever is on our mind. Going for a walk is a great opportunity for you to connect with your family, discuss anything and get moving together, all at once!
  2. Make it a game. I recently saw a post on Facebook about a mother making her workout into a game for her children. I thought this was so smart. She was able to get her workout in and by including them; they were learning the benefits of being active. You can set up a circuit and run from each spot. For example, set up 5 “stops” and do something different at each location: 15 squats, 10 pushups, 30 jumping jacks, 15 tricep dips and a plank with twists (get creative; there are so many options). You can have your kids do each of these or come up with different things they can do at each spot. Do the circuit a few times and you get in a good workout with your kids and make it super fun for everyone.
  3. Find a family class. Nowadays, many gyms offer kids or family workouts. This is a great way to show your children what you do when you talk about going to the gym. They get to try out the activities and see what it’s all about. Being active becomes fun if it is enjoyable, so finding a class that your child likes is key.
  4. Cook a meal together. Health isn’t only about being active. Making good food choices and setting up healthy eating habits is something we all need to learn. Pick a new healthy recipe to make as a family. Go to the store, find all the ingredients and cook together. This is a fun way to incorporate everyone into the process.
  5. Make it a family effort. I know that when one of us falls off the healthy wagon, it’s hard for the other to stay focused. On those days when I don’t want to workout but my husband does, I will get an extra boost to exercise from his motivation. It’s the same with healthy eating. Most of the time, we both want to cook or eat healthy. But when one isn’t feeling it, it’s important for the other to motivate the other to stay on track. We all learn through example, so setting a good example for your family is important. Inspiration and motivation can come and go, but not for everyone at the same time. And sometimes knowing you have to be the driving force will give you an extra boost to push others when you know they are relying on you.

Looking back, I feel we were pretty active as a family, in addition to the organized sports I was involved in. We all learned to play tennis and would play against each other on vacations. There were intense games of whiffle ball with our cousins. The neighborhood kids would always get together to play football, SPUD or Kick the Can. As we got older we played a lot of basketball, especially at family get-togethers. It was always so fun to run around and play with everyone. Having everyone participate bonded us and made a positive association with being active. Even to this day, when fitness is fun, it doesn’t feel like work!


BY KATIE KOZLOFF-BANKS

This article appears in the May 2015 issue of Berks County Living

The Get Inspired! Project – Katie Kozloff-Banks

Toni Reece: Hi there. This is Toni Reece, and welcome to the Get Inspired! Project for Berks County Living magazine. Today I have Katie Kozloff-Banks with me. Hi, Katie.

Katie Kozloff-Banks: Hi. How are you?

Toni: I’m great! How are you doing today?

Katie: Good.

Toni: Good. So, Katie, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Katie: I have the activewear line called Katie K Active. We are an inclusive brand of premium activewear. What that means is we are activewear that spans the size range, small to 3X.

Toni: Okay. Where do we find you?

Katie: You can find us online at katiekactive.com and around in different stores across the country.

Toni: Great. Thank you for showing up for the Get Inspired! Project.

Katie: Yes, thanks for having me.

Toni: Let’s go into the Project. What does inspiration mean to you?

Katie: I was thinking about this. There’s so many different ways to think about inspiration – people that motivate me or make me think differently about my life and want to do more. I think my family inspires me, my friends inspire me with what they’re doing, and all around you everywhere.

Toni: So when you feel inspired, you’re motivated.

Katie: Yes, very much so.

Toni: What does that feel like?

Katie: It’s kind of a rush. I love looking at different things that will inspire me. I think if you go through phases and you start to think, “I need some inspiration,” I’ll just start looking around and take into account what my friends or family are doing. I start thinking, “Wow! They’re doing all this with their life. I want to do some more.” Then I buckle down again.

Toni: Okay, so when you might be in a slump you’ll look around and say, “Okay, I like that. That’s pretty cool. Now I’m moved to action.” Right?

Katie: Yes. I think even when you’re feeling inspired and motivated, it just kind of snowballs. I think when you try to take a look back and see, “Oh my gosh, what have I accomplished?” that just pushes you. It’s all good to have that level.

Toni: I like when you said that inspiration feels like a rush.

Katie: Yes.

Toni: That’s a cool feeling, you know?

Katie: Yes.

Toni: Is that that “pit in your stomach” feeling?

Katie: Yes.

Toni: Yes. Where it’s like, “Ooh! There it was!”

Katie: Yes, exactly.

Toni: I get it. So when you get that, how do you put that into practice here in Berks County?

Katie: To get inspired, I was going through maybe like a slump, and I felt like I wanted to take advantage of the different pieces that Berks County has to offer that could inspire me. I joined the Lean In group through …

Toni: Women to Women?

Katie: Yes. Women to Women. I’m part of the Incubator. I think that really helps. I just started to network with different people. Being a woman, I’ve tried to connect with women who I find inspiring, and then I’ve met with them for lunch or breakfast just to hear their story and talk to them. I think connecting and networking with people, everybody is inspiring in their own way.

Toni: They are. A couple things I just want to touch on that you had mentioned is that you knew you were in a slump, and you needed to feel that rush. By joining different networking groups and talking to people, you felt reenergized?

Katie: Yes, very much so. I think you go through a slump and maybe you need a little direction. I found mentoring groups through GRYP (Greater Reading Young Professionals). The Lean In circle was awesome. It’s been cool.

Toni: Then once you became reenergized again, what did you do? How did you put that inspiration into practice?

Katie: I go home and I make a list of everything; kind of brain dump and start working backwards and thinking, “Okay, this is everything I want to do. How am I going to make it happen? How am I going to break it down into different pieces?”

Then I start figuring it out, whatever that goal is or thing that’s now got me inspired and, “Now I want to do this.” I break it down and figure out how I’m going to attack that.

Toni: Do you have a specific example that was just recent?

Katie: I think probably the big one was I felt I needed to have a mentor and advisor group. It took some time, but that’s what brought me to the Incubator, and that has been so helpful. Working and meeting with different people in Berks County who said, “You should go check out the Incubator.” They are helping me do the goal setting, so that’s accomplished that goal where I felt very much like I needed some kind of guidance, and now I feel like I have plenty of people. I have this great network of people that depending on what business issue or life problem is, I have a specific person for each piece, which is awesome.

Toni: Oh wow – so now you can get a rush from several people!

Katie: Yes. If I’m feeling down about manufacturing, I have this. I think it’s also great to compartmentalize it, but then I can say, “This is where I need help,” and go to that person.

Toni: This is an interesting way to look at getting inspired. It helps you with your business knowing how you get inspired. You took that action, went out and networked, so that you can purposefully be inspired.

Katie: Yes.

Toni: I love that.

Katie: Yes.

Toni: Who in Berks County inspires you?

Katie: I feel like there are so many people. The people that I have met with recently are Steve Fritz through GRYP mentoring. He’s been very inspiring to me. Julia Kline – I met with her, and she’s very inspiring. Sally Weaver I’ve met with. All these people, and then there’s people now at the Incubator like June. She’s been really inspiring and helpful. I think it’s just having people who can advise me. My husband – he’s doing his third Iron Man in three years.

Toni: Wow – oh my gosh!

Katie: Inspiring and crazy. I think even just friends. I think when you start talking to your different friends and you see what everybody is doing; everybody is busy, but everybody is doing really great things. I think that’s cool. For as busy as everybody is, they’re all doing really neat, cool things with their lives. I think that’s always inspiring, talking to people.

Toni: Is that your common denominator on people who inspire you in Berks County? People who are doing really cool things?

Katie: Yes. It’s cool things, but they’re not just say sitting and letting life live them. They’re living life, not just letting it go by. That’s inspiring to me – somebody who wants to do something, whatever that means – being the best mom or being the best person on a board or something like that. I think it’s great to see when people are doing something with their life.

Toni: Yes. So what do you want your legacy to be?

Katie: I think with the activewear, I’d really like to have the inclusiveness. Right now, so much of the clothing industry is very divided between plus size and straight size. It doesn’t really seem to make sense. I think everybody wants to fit in and be trendy and fashion-forward regardless of whether it’s activewear or regular clothing. I think we’re a unique brand with our inclusive end of everything, that we offer everything in each size and each style.

I think that’s our legacy, is giving women the confidence to be who they are. For us, that means giving women the confidence to live a healthy, active, life, and that they should have access to feel the best about themselves and live a healthy, active life regardless of their size.

Toni: Wow – what a legacy for your company to leave for women! That’s fantastic. Katie, thank you so much for showing up to the Get Inspired! Project. Best of luck to you.

Katie: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Toni: Take care.

This article appears in the March 2015 issue of Berks County Living

Did you like what you read here? Subscribe to Berks County Living »

Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio Podcast features Katie Kozloff + The #DefineBrave Campaign from Katie K Active

HHTR

#DefineBrave = The Courage to Stand in Truth & Express Freedom

 During this week’s radio show you will learn about:

  • The #DefineBrave Campaign from Katie K. Active
  • Personal Stories about Overcoming Adversity
  • Women Entrepreneurs Making a Difference: Pride & Glory and Mind.Body.Spirit EXPERIENCE
  • Explore Non-Profits: FinalSaluteInc.org and StopCAIDNow.org
Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio
This Week on Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio

 The Katie K. Active Signature Collection is named for founder and designer Katie Kozloff. As a fitness trainer, Kozloff worked with women of all sizes heard first hand their opinions and views on what was lacking in the activewear industry. She was inspired to create activewear that blended performance, fit and fashion — workout gear that looks and feels amazing on women of all sizes.

“I wanted to create a brand that fits and flatters all of my friends in all of their sizes, without compromising the performance features that today’s women have grown to expect.”

You can learn more about Katie here.

 

Jas Boothe

 

Jas Boothe is a Chicago Native and disabled Army Veteran, who gave  13 years of service to this great nation. She deployed during the Operation Iraq Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom campaigns and her military career has been dedicated to working with and advocating for Soldiers and their family members.

She founded Final Salute Inc, which has assisted over 300 women Veterans and children and now operates 3 transitional homes in Alexandria, VA, Martinsburg, WV and Columbus, OH.

You can learn more about Jas here.

Pat CruzPat Cruz: Creative thinker, noted entrepreneur, event marketing specialist, former radio show host, avid networker, connection maker, and marketing/social media innovator nationally celebrated for her ranking in top five Rhode Islanders with highest calculated social media influence.

Pat has created a socially oriented business environment that builds awareness, creates loyalty, and increases revenue for clients and businesses desiring access to the power of the female buyer, or influencer in the local marketplace.

You can learn more about Pat here.

Lisa Moreno DickinsonLisa Moreno-Dickinson is a devoted single mom, author, executive producer, writer for the Global Genes Project/Rare Disease Community, Ambassador for #definebrave, on the board of Directors for The Wish Upon  A Hero Foundation, and President/Founder for StopCAIDNow.org, a 501c3 accredited non-profit. The foundation is focused on treatments, awareness, diverse genetic testing, and genomics..

StopCAIDnow, Inc. is recognized globally and first to blanket all Auto-inflammatory Diseases.

You can learn more about Lisa here.

 

Jennifer WalshJennifer Walsh has been a true pioneer for the skin care / cosmetics industry. She has been in the business for more than 15 years and has learned her craft through hands on experience with the brands themselves and with customers throughout the world.

Ms. Walsh founded what became one of the first beauty boutique chains in the United Stated in 1998 along with one of the first beauty websites at that same time. Since Jennifer sold her company in 2010, she now consults for brands in roll out plans both in the US and internationally.

You can learn more about Jennifer here.

Why I feel so passionately about being an inclusive brand

I was so excited to hear about the panel discussion “Fashion Without Limits: Changing the Face of Fashion”. As an inclusive brand, catering to women sizes 2 to 3X, we know all too well the frustrations of the plus woman. The panel hit on so many points that we at Katie K Active agree with!

Aimee Cheshire, Liz Black, Marshal Cohen, Jeffrey Mayer, Todd Conover and Emme Cohen. Photo by Thomas Iannaccone

Aimee Cheshire, Liz Black, Marshal Cohen, Jeffrey Mayer, Todd Conover and Emme Cohen.
Photo by Thomas Iannaccone

  1. Full figured women crave fashionable clothes, just as much as the straight size women! Just because a woman is a size 12 of higher, doesn’t mean she wants to hide her body or not enjoy the current trends. She is a fashionable and stylish woman who wants to have the same great wardrobe options as the straight size women.
  1. There are not enough designers and retailers addressing the needs of full figured women.  Fashionable and stylish clothing for women size 12 and above is difficult to find. Retailers don’t seem to want to include the full figured women in their offering, especially in their physical locations. Designers seem to be less interested in making product that seems less glamorous. We know it takes more effort to design for the fuller figure, but the market is there and demanding great clothing. Things do seem to be moving in the right direction recently, but we have much further to go.
  1. It’s a mistake to not want to market to the plus size customer. The plus size market is a $17.7 billion dollar industry, 37% of U.S. women wear at least 1 plus size item, and 68% of the U.S. female population is size 12 and above. The opportunity to serve the most underserved fashion category in the fashion industry is huge. By not offering plus size products, you’re telling her she is unimportant.
  1. The plus size market is not only an age issue. It’s the millennials and boomers who mostly comprise this category, not just the older woman. The common mistake is that plus size clothing is designed for the very mature woman in mind. She is young, hip, and trendy. She cares about being stylish and fashion forward.
  1. Plus clothing shouldn’t only be offered online. There is something to shopping, trying clothes on and having the instant gratification of taking your purchase with you. Online shopping means you have to wait, pay shipping, and hope the item looks and fits well. Women want to be able to shop in physical retail locations in addition to online stores.

We feel so passionately about treating the plus size woman as an equal and important customer that we launched Katie K Active as a fully inclusive activewear brand. Every style is offered in every color in every size. Through the use of our Double Fit Technology, we ensure the proper fit across the size range.

Katie K Active is proud to be an inclusive brand. We think its important not to separate the plus woman and put her off to the side. Katie K Active embraces women and their desire to have activewear that blends style, quality and performance so they can confidently live a healthy, active life.

5 Healthy Ways to Survive the Holiday Season with Fleet Feet Sports

 

 

  

 

5 Healthy Ways to Survive the Holiday Season with Fleet Feet Sports

It’s that time of year again, filled with holiday sweets and cocktails. Did you know that the average American gains about five pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years? Below are some tips to help you avoid gaining those extra pounds this holiday season.

  1. Moderate Alcohol Intake: Remember that glass of wine or beer contains calories. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram which means when you grab a cocktail you’re not only consuming calories from the mix but from the alcohol as well. A long island ice tea contains about 543 calories, a 12 ounce beer contains about 150 and four ounces of wine contains about 100 calories. Alternate your drinks with water to cut back on calories and fill you up so you are less likely to overeat.
  2. Balance Your Meals: Filling your plate with sweets will leave you with a sugar rush and your body will miss out on key nutrients. Make sure to fill your plate with vegetables, whole grains and protein. This will provide your body with the nutrients it needs and keep you satisfied making it less likely to overindulge on the dessert.
  3. Eat Regularly: Many people choose to skip lunch so they can overeat at the dinner party, causing them to overeat at the party. Make sure to eat a light healthy snack before heading out to. Try a low fat yogurt, fresh fruit or a small bowl of whole- grain cereal with skim milk.
  4. Think Portion Sizes: Desserts can be part o f a healthful diet when enjoyed in moderation. One serving of pumpkin pie is 1/8 of a 9 inch pie. Imagine making an L shape with your thumb and index finger that is about the size of one slice. Share dessert with a friend and don’t feel obliged to clear your plate. When you feel full, stop eating.
  5. Keep Moving: The holidays are the worst time of year to abandon your exercise routine. Exercise not only helps avoid weight gain but it is a great way to release stress. Write down your exercise plan at the beginning of the week to help you stay on track.

– Kathryn Szklany, MA, RD, LDN, CNSC Registered Dietitian and FIT Professional, Fleet Feet Sports Pittsburgh

Three Formulas for a Great Workout with Katie Kozloff

Three Formulas for a Great Workout with Katie Kozloff


There are so many great ways to create your own effective workout. Drop exercises
in to the following formulas, and you are ready go!

Three Formulas for a Great Workout with Katie K Active 

Tabata: This is 20 second intervals of activity with 10 seconds of rest. Use a timer
(an app can easily be downloaded). Set it for 20 secs work 10 secs rest, for 8 rounds
or 4 minutes. Do one exercise through the cycle, rest and then move on to another.
For example, do squats through the 4 minute cycle and then do pushups as the
exercise in your next 4 minute round. Pick 5 or 6 exercises and you have an intense,
quick, yet effective 20-24 min workout!

AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible): With this formula, you will set a time limit
and complete as many rounds of your workout as possible. Pick 3 to 5 exercises and
the number of reps to complete in a certain amount of time. An example AMRAP
could be to see how many rounds you can get in of: 12 lunges (per side), 7 pushups,
5 reverse crunches in 20min.

Jack Webb: In this format, you complete a few exercises through a sequential number
series. 1 rep of each exercise, then 2 reps of each exercise and so on until you hit you
a goal number, for example 10 reps of each exercise. And then you work you way back down,10, 9, 8 etc to 1. Pick 2 or 3 exercises to complete the series.

No matter where you are, you can use these formulas to create a great workout. Use
body weight only exercises or mix in free weights. You can do resistance band
exercises, kettle bells or a medicine ball to change it up. Do these workouts at a park
and use a bench for steps ups or pushups. Or use a bar for pull-ups. The options for
exercises are endless. Adjust the workouts when you have more time from 10 minutes to 20 or 30 by adding another round or two.

Giving the Gift of Fitness is Okay

If someone (my husband or parent) gave me a fitness related gift, it may make me second-guess his or her intention. I’d wonder: Are they saying I’m overweight? Do they want me to be more active? If so, why?

Then I take a minute and think about it. Is his or her intention to mean, or are they trying to support me? Have I been talking about trying out new classes or workout routines? Have I shared my desires to become more fit and active, and to shed some weight? Was I complaining about my workout gear not fitting well or being old, dingy and stretched out? Maybe they’re actually trying to do something nice for me. Could they be supporting my health and fitness goals by helping me achieve them?

fitness giftI think this is a common thought process when it comes to fitness related gifts – and a big reason why people shy away from it. A husband could get his wife a treadmill after hearing her complain about how she doesn’t enjoy running in the cold weather and the snow. She gets the gift and thinks, “Does my husband think I’m fat?” Really, he was trying to give her a thoughtful gift so she could continue enjoying her workouts, even in bad weather. He knows how much she enjoys being active and that being healthy and fit is important to her. It shouldn’t be thought of as a negative, rather, a positive. He was supporting her desire to be active and healthy.

To that end, here are some great fitness gift ideas as we near the holiday season:

  1. Gym Membership – A traditional gym gives access to multiple activities: a weight training area, a cardio area and one or two studios. You can do a little bit of everything all under one roof. It is a great gift for someone just getting started or someone looking to try something new. I know I love spin class, but I like to try other classes like Zumba, too. I enjoy strength training, but sometimes it’s fun to take a total body conditioning class to switch things up.
  2. Punch Card – In additional to the tradition gyms, there are a variety of “studio gyms.” These usually come with a higher monthly fee, but also offer punch cards to participate in classes as you wish. Pilates and yoga studios are like this, as are many cross fit-type gyms. A punch card is a great gift for someone who enjoys these activities or wants to try them out. They can participate when they want or try something new without committing to a monthly fee.
  3. Personal Training – Since having a personal trainer is definitely more of a splurge, this can be a great gift. Getting a trainer is a great way to kick-start any fitness goal with the help of a professional. He or she can give you nutritional input as well. Maybe a loved one has been complaining that he or she feels stuck or in a rut, or that they don’t know what they’re doing. A trainer will help teach him or her new fitness ideas and work with them to accomplish their goal.
  4. Equipment – depending on who you’re buying for, there are a ton of equipment options that make great gifts. Maybe the person you’re buying for has been talking about a treadmill or stationary bike. Or he or she has a few free weights but would really like to create a workout space in their house. Free weights, kettle bells, bosu, a stability ball and/or a bench would all be great additions to any home gym.
  5. New Workout Clothes – A new item or outfit creates excitement! Everyone wants to use their new clothes and when it’s activewear, that means a little extra motivation to get that workout in. A new workout can even create inspiration to start that fitness goal or give a push to keep going. Having the right gear for an activity helps to be able to accomplish a goal. It’s amazing how an outfit can change your outlook and get you excited to be active.

I understand giving a fitness-related gift can be tricky. But giving the gift of fitness is truly a wonderful gesture. You’re saying, “I support your goals and I want to help you achieve them.” Just be tactful with your delivery. If you’re worried about the recipient’s reaction, you can remind him or her how they’ve been talking about wanting the equipment or to try out that new gym or class. See, you were paying attention.

This article appears in the November 2014 issue of Berks County Living.